Assault Is A Serious Accusation, Let’s Not Water It Down

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Katie Frates Editor-in-chief of The Daily Walkthrough
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I heard two bad jokes in the last week: The U.N. elected Saudi Arabia to its women’s rights commission, and my Lyft driver compared a patron playing music to sexual assault.

The first proves what we already knew, that the United Nations’ sense of truth is so hopelessly rotten the tree is dead.

The second shows just how destructive and counter-productive modern feminism has become. More and more, terms that infer very serious crimes and accusations — like sexual assault — are being turned into feminist buzzwords.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar, a buzzword is “an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen” or “a voguish word or phrase,” according to Merriam-Webster.

They lose the important meaning attached to them, and instead are warped into verbs liberal women use to convey irritation or dislike toward someone or something.

But before we get too deep into what I mean by all of this, let me explain what happened Friday.

I shared a Lyft ride with a stranger to go to one of Washington, D.C.’s many pre-White House Correspondents’ Dinner parties on the cheap. Our driver was a woman, there was a woman and a man already in the backseat, and the man was very loudly playing some atrocious bass-thumping club music. The driver asked him to please turn the music down, to which he obliged somewhat. Aside from a collective eye roll on the part of us three women, I didn’t think anything else of him. That is, until she dropped off the man and then the other woman, and proceeded to let loose on this “white man’s privilege.”

For approximately the next 10 minutes of our ride, the Lyft driver raged about how no woman would have acted that way (i.e. play loud music and be rude), he was only doing it because he was a white man, and said, “It was almost like sexual assault, not sexual, but he assaulted us by doing that.”

As I sank further into my seat, she explained that she used to be an activist and was going to go above and beyond giving the man a 1-star rating and write a letter of complaint to Lyft about the alleged “assault.” That driver filed a formal complaint with a company accusing a man of assault for no other reason than because he was impolite. He didn’t physically harm anyone, he wasn’t using “white privilege” and he wasn’t annoying by virtue of being a man.

So, it is now acceptable to claim assault because the left, and by association feminism, have altered its very meaning to include words as literal violence.

Behavior like this — applying powerful words to unbefitting situations — undermines their weight. Instead of denoting an act that breaks the law, assault slowly becomes a stronger version of words like annoy, irritate and exasperate. This transformation has the added affect of minimizing real assault when it does happen. It becomes easier not to believe it, because if everything is “assault,” then how do we know for sure that the woman wasn’t overreacting?

What’s worse is that some modern feminists do say what the man in the Lyft did was assault. The driver genuinely seemed to think he had harmed her on a level equal to assault. She expressed disdain toward him because of his gender, indicated that she thought he would be aggressive because of his gender, and then confirmed her own sexist bias by convincing herself the man had assaulted the three women in the car. And now, she is pursuing his punishment for an offense she made up entirely in her own head.

Trivializing words doesn’t seem like a big deal until it is. This isn’t just happening with words like assault. It happened with the word ignorant, too. It once used to mean someone who wasn’t knowledgeable on a subject, and now it’s an adjective for someone you believe has an inferior opinion and isn’t worth listening to. Hitler and Nazi are tossed around casually as a way to say you disagree with a politician or person’s political ideology.

Modern feminism seems solely focused on surface-level issues. It doesn’t dig deep, anymore. I wrote last week about how feminists completely ignored the case of female genital mutilation in Michigan. Three people have now been arrested after it was discovered that a female doctor was performing FGM on young girls. (RELATED: Last Week Showed The Clearest Problem With Modern Feminism)

There’s no good reason why none of the big feminist names spoke out against the atrocious practice; they all stayed silent, instead choosing to tweet about a story Shannon Watts made-up about United Airlines, sexism and leggings. (RELATED: No Facts? No Problem: Feminists Attack VP Mike Pence And United Airlines For Sexism)

Feminism is in a pathetic state. If a topic isn’t viral, who cares? Does it require effort beyond tweeting how angry you are? Well, sorry, they can’t be bothered. It’s toxic, stupid and a detriment to women everywhere.

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